The Jewish new year is not just a stereotypical December 31 gathering with champaigne, sparkling grape juice, streamers, confetti, and otherwise generally a good time to stay off the roads and stay home, but a much more solemn occasion steeped in centuries of tradition.
Besides the traditional foods, many Jewish people go to synagogue at this time of year, even if they have minimal interest in attending synagogue the rest of the year. One will hear the blowing of the shofar, the horn of a kosher animal such as a ram but with the marrow removed, not once, but hundreds of times. It is a trumpet call to uplift God and reaffirm His sovereignty over all the earth, a call to awaken those who may be slumbering into complacency that Yom Kippur is near and it is time to be repenting of any unconfessed sins before the books are sealed, and a call to return to God and His commandments in preparation for the final trumpet call on the great day of the Messiah’s return. This time of year is also tremendously focused on prayer, reflection, thanksgiving, and how one could be a better blessing to the community in the next year.
So it may not be the stereotypical December 31 celebration, but Rosh Hashanah is still a special and highly anticipated time of year.
Written by Erin Parfet